Board meets May 13; Critics slam GUHSD for secretly stacking advisory board with conservative political figures
By Miriam Raftery
May 12, 2010 (Alpine) – Why doesn’t the Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) want the public to be given the names of people appointed to serve on a committee to name Alpine’s planned new high school?
“It’s a secret that East county’s high school district evidently would prefer you didn’t know,” stated a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial. The GUHSD board forced the newspaper to file an official public records act request to obtain committee members' names.
The list suggests the GUHSD trustees hand-picked political figures, a large majority of whom support naming the new school after former president Ronald Reagan.
May 11, 2010 (Sacramento) – The Senate Education Committee has passed SB 1290 by a unanimous vote. The measure, authored by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), would allow self-defense training for middle and high school districts to provide self-defense training for boys and girls as part of the standard physical education curriculum.
May 11, 2010 (San Diego) – Starting this month, the State of California hopes to entice homeowners to replace their old water heaters with solar-powered systems. Under the California Solar Initiative Thermal Program, rebates up to $1,875 will be available for people who switch from natural gas or electric water heaters.
Company credits AB 32 as incentive for expansion; plans to add 100 manufacturing jobs—and is attracting other green firms
By Richard Darvas
May 10, 2010 (Otay Mesa) -- Clean-tech industries are a “wave of the future for San Diego,” declared San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders after a tour of Siliken Renewable Energy’s solar manufacturing plant, located roughly two miles north of the Mexican border in Otay Mesa.
Company executives have announced a massive 50% expansion in the clean-energy provider’s Otay Mesa workforce operations.
May 11, 2010 (Sacramento) -- The California Legislature recently approved a $10,000 tax credit for Californians purchasing qualified homes between May 1, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2010. The credit applies to people purchasing previously unoccupied homes and to first-time homebuyers purchasing re-sale homes.
May 12, 2010 (San Diego) – National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 21st. Locally, SANDAG and the San Diego County Credit Union have teamed up to offer prizes and info for commuters who register at www.iCommuteSD.com. Registrants will be eligible to win an electric bicycle, spa gift certificate and more – plus a free Bike to Work Day T-shirt when you print out your receipt.
May 10, 2010 (Chicago) --This May 9–15, the American Library Association (ALA) will launch its first-ever Preservation Week @ your library, a time when thousands will turn to libraries across the U.S. for information and expertise on how to preserve collectables, photos, family records and other valuable materials.
At an April 2010 event at the East County Chamber of Commerce, Laura McDonald from SDG&E boldly stated that “there are not any fire risks with this project.”
It is not known if McDonald purposely intended to mislead San Diegans (or if she will someday be fined for misleading San Diegans), but what is known is that the “Fire and Fuels Management” section of the environmental impact report identifies numerous significant fire risks associated with the project, and even states that the project will “significantly increase the likelihood of catastrophic fires.”
The El Cajon Police Department is holding a total of five Community Neighborhood Forums called “Sector Watch”. Well over 100 people attended the first Sector Watch Forum at Fletcher Hills Elementary School on May 4th. Additional forums are set for May 11, 18 and 26, as well as June 2.
May 10, 2010 (Sacramento) – By a unanimous vote and with broad bipartisan support, the Senate Committee on Education passed legislation on April 21 to ensure that California textbooks will not contain changes made in Texas. In March, the Texas State Board of Education approved extreme right-wing curriculum changes. Due to the number of public school students in the state, textbook manufacturers are expected to make changes that could drastically influence textbooks throughout the country.
May 10, 2010 (New Jersey) -- Imagine switching compost bins instead of sides on the tennis court? Planting vegetables in place of goals in the net. That’s exactly what Princeton High School kids in New Jersey are doing. In an elective program, they can choose to take Gardening in place of traditional PE classes.
May 10, 2010 (San Diego) – A Hispanic man in his early 20s was stabbed near San Diego State University following an altercation shortly after 3 a.m. on May 9th, San Diego Police report. According to police, words were exchanged between a group of Hispanic men and a group of white men walking in the 5200 block of Falls View in the east college area when a physical altercation ensued.
By Miriam Raftery
May 10, 2010 (Sacramento) – Senator Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta) whose district includes most of East County, had a hearing in the Senate Public Employees and Retirement Today on his Senate Bill 919. The measure would increase retirement age from 55 to 65 and require higher contributions from state employees to their retirement accounts. It would also require that retirement benefits be based on the highest three years of wages, instead of the highest one year.
The measure, which would reduce pension benefits while asking workers to pay more into their pension funds, has sparked controversy in Sacramento, drawing opposition from teachers and other state workers.
May 10, 2010 (Spring Valley) – Fire gutted an apartment unit at 3613 S. Bonita in Spring Valley this evening, though a swift response by multiple fire agencies saved adjoining units. Anxious residents, some in pajamas and one in a wheelchair, gathered outside as firefighters conducted a search of the building. No one was found inside and no injuries were reported.
“When I came home and opened the door, there was smoke,” said one occupant of the unit, who asked that his name not be published. “I broke open a fire extinguisher and saw a fire in a trashcan, then I called 911.” Four residents in his unit and a dog were displaced by the fire, he said.
VIP party honored achievements by local citizens and community leaders
By Miriam Raftery; photos by Julie Edwards
May 3, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – During a “Celebrate our Citizens” VIP party at Cuyamaca College on April 28, East County Magazine presented awards to honor local citizens’ achievements in five categories: Humanitarian, Community Organizing, Education, Business Leadership, Environmental Protection, and Community Heroes. In addition, a special award recognized Viejas Fire Chief Don Butz and the Viejas Fire Department for their efforts to keep our communities safe from wildfires.
December 9, 2009 (San Diego) -- While having dinner at a friend’s home this past Thanksgiving, my friend told me that her friend’s husband had left her after more than 30 years of marriage for a man that he had been having a homosexual relationship with for years. This occurrence, which seems to be more commonplace than previously thought, is the topic profiled in The Straight-Up Truth About The Down-Low, a book written two co-authors using the pseudonym Joy Marie.
The free market just doesn’t work in medicine. You can’t be an informed consumer. I never saw someone with severe chest pain jump off the table and say, Doctor, I’m going to the cheaper guy down the street.” -- Howard Dean. M.D. , on a recent book tour in San Diego
April 7, 2009 (Rancho Bernardo)—Could a place that received both theWine Spectator 2009 award of excellence and the Wine Enthusiast 2008 award of distinction possibly live up to the hype? I headed off to the Barrel Room in Rancho Bernardo, determined to find out. Much to my delight, the wines that I sampled were both unusual and highly pleasing—and the food was equally delectable.
At new Tiger Trails haven in Alpine, rescued tigers run, swim for first time
By Miriam Raftery
September 17, 2008 (ALPINE) – Q: What happens when you take four captive-bred tigers and turn them loose in a facility large enough for them to run freely for the first time?
A: A cat-aclysmic event complete with romping, frolicking and caterwauling, much to the delight of media members and donors invited to watch the grand opening of Tiger Trails in Alpine. View our short video clip.
Growing concerns over food safety, environmental issues, health and desire to support our local economy have given rise to a new trend: consumers seeking out locally-grown and produced foods.
Sales of locally grown foods increased 25% in 2007 from $4 billion to $5 billion – and could hit $7 billion by 2011, according to a HealthFocus TrendScan report. According to Packaged Facts, 69% of consumers surveyed agreed that local food is better for their personal health than food that has traveled across the country. Buzzwords such as “food miles” the “slow food movement” and “locavore” (New Oxford American Dictionary’s 2007 word of the year) have entered the lingo.